#148: Surprisingly, The Grass Appears Just a Little Bit Greener

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

Gil In Mechanicsville

As we get just a little deeper into the hot stove portion of the season, for some reason I am beginning to feel a little more optimistic about the direction the Braves are taking. Not Worlds Series optimistic mind you but .500 plus season optimistic. After all, the Mets have their very good pitching staff back, the Nationals have a new manager who might well at least get a talented team to perform up to their abilities and a Marlins team which should be better just because they are a better team than they showed last season too.

The Phillies are also on the path to rebuild but they still outplayed the Braves last year even with a very substandard pitching staff. No, the Braves look better even with the loss of a very promising young pitcher named Shelby Miller and possible the best defensive shortstop, nay, best defensive player in all baseball in Andrelton Simmons. The latter whom was worth the price of admission just to see him pull off one amazing play after another. Despite the presence of both of these talented youngsters in the line up, the Braves still managed to lose 96 games last season.

Not that such an inglorious fate could not await the 2016 club, it just feels to me the Braves have turned the corner and they did it in record time. It is a model the Marlins have employed repeatedly in the past but without great success, after all, prospect are just that, not tried and true sure fire super stars but even the superstars sometimes flame out with an ill times oblique strain or wrist strain. Every pitcher on the roster seems destined for a visit to Dr. Andrews for some “twinge” in the elbow or shoulder. Truth is, we just never know. The only answer seems to be so overstocked with players that you just overwhelm the opposition with depth.

Just like last season’s World Series winner. The did not have a team which finished number one in any category, just good enough overall to outplay the opposition when the chip were down. So, why do I feel more confident about 2016? First the returnees:

Freeman1GilFreddie Freeman.  I think we were all a little surprised when Fab 5 Freddie mentioned that he finally felt comfortable with the treatment his was getting and no longer thought surgery would be necessary…. Crikey, surgery? Braves held that little bit of info close to the vest didn’t they? I think we all recognized Freddie was not the same player after the All-Star game but wrist are like toes and should never be trifled with. It is where a player’s “pop” comes from. Freddie saves a lot of off line balls from his infielders from going into the dugout but it is his power bat which makes him a star.

 

AJ Perzinski, the ageless one. Signed last season to serve as mentor and back up to the since departed Christian Bethancourt, he put up some really good offensive numbers as well as handle a very young pitching staff with acumen. The most hated man in baseball sure became beloved in Atlanta. Now A.J. isn’t exactly Jonathan LuCroy but I think he will do just fine sharing time with recently reaquired Tyler Flowers. Anyone else remember reading about his exploits in the Arizona Fall League as reported bu Dave O’Brien? Weird how quickly time can fly.

 

MarkakisOutfielder Nick Markakis, Nick turned in a pretty solid performance last season and hopefully his power will return after having the off season to tone up. It is amazing how quickly one can lose muscle mass from inactivity. Nick still turned in impressive numbers where ever he was placed in the batting order in 2015. Unfortunately power was not one of them. The loss of Freeman and the lack of power by Markakis allowed opposing pitchers to play fast and loose with the Braves batting order.

 

TeheranJulio Teheran. With every game last season, you could see Julio mature as a pitcher. His slider improved greatly and he showed a much greater willingness to challenge hitters inside. Maybe he would not be a number one on a lot of teams but he is growing into the role. I expect a very good season from him in 2016.

 

Aybar

Aybar

Now, new acquisitions: I am torn between two of the newest Braves as having the greatest immediate impact, shortstop Erick Aybar who was part of the package acquired from  LA Angels or outfielder Ender Inciarte, acquired as part of the deal which sent arguably the Braves best pitcher Shelby Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Aybar is a very good shortstop, not Andrelton Simmons good but not a bad bridge to the next great Atlanta shortstop Ozhaino Albies or last seasons number one overall draft pick Dansby Swanson. Albies hails form the island of Curacao as have former Braves icons Andruw Jones and since traded Simmons. It should be interesting to see him battle it out with Swanson for the job. We might see Albies this season in June but Swanson is the same age. The difference is the young man from Curacao has come up thru the minors where as Swanson played college ball for Vandebilt. My advice is for you folks who can see either of these young men play in the minors to go while you can still afford the price of admission. It’s going to be quite a bit pricier to see the play when they make it to the big leagues.

Inciarte

Inciarte

As far as the value of Aybar verses Inciarte, I think Aybar will have the greatest immediate impact but Inciarte will have the longer run with the Braves. A superior centerfielder defensively and fast kid who can get on base, he could be a spark plug for the 2016 club. Depending on the progress the Braves make this season, Aybar may complete the season or be flipped at the trading deadline for yet more pitching. A lot depends on how well one of the two wunderkind develop early in the season.

The questions for the Braves afield remain at second, third and left field. Yep, that is a pretty big hole to have questions about. The Braves are hoping they did not make a huge mistake in trading away lefty Alex Woods for Cuban Hector Olivera. The Braves have been watching Olivera with the idea he could fill the need as a third baseman but have decided to try and move him to left field. The Braves know he has power but keeping him healthy might be a problem. Plan B seems to be fellow Cuban Adonis Garcia. Adonis has surprising power but is somewhat suspect when it comes to defense. We will have to wait and see how the hot corner works out for the Braves in 2016.

Flowers

Flowers

Tyler Flowers was signed as a free agent to share the catching duties with AJ Pierzynski this season.  Tyler still possesses some power but he has become very adept at framing pitches. The Braves had become very disenchanted with their future star Christian Bethancourt when he failed to show the maturity of taking on the responsibilities of a major league catcher and work  and prepare for every game. Catching was never really considered an offensive position so he could have been forgiven for hitting less that .250 but defensively he was a nightmare. Maybe he will find the answer in the dessert

A couple of other honorable mentions should be free agent signees Gordon Beckham who could platoon with  Jace Peterson at second base or even Emilio Bonifacio if he has anything left in the tank. The Braves are also going to need a back up shortstop so don’t count out seeing Daniel Castro back on the Braves bench.

Okay, enough for this round, We will discuss all the pitching probabilities next time.

………….

In Memoriam

Bobby Dews

Bobby Dews

 

 

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127 Responses to “#148: Surprisingly, The Grass Appears Just a Little Bit Greener”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady January 1, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Excellent, Gil! Thanks so much for all you do!

    Like

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    It’s easy when you have a great boss… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 JoAnn Brooks Elliott January 1, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Since I don’t follow baseball as much as most of you do. This was interesting in facts. I don’t really know but 3 of these players. Hope the Braves do better this year. Happy New Year everyone. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 4 Carolina Lady January 1, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    JoAnn, I don’t know them either. I think what makes such a difference now is that we don’t know them and aren’t “invested” in them. They’re just names. Hope things will eventually settle down so we can enjoy them again. I know a lot of bricks have to be laid down when something is being rebuilt, but once in place the bricks usually stay there as the foundation. Right now there seems to be a lot of shifting sand instead. At least I can enjoy reading what the guys here have to say. It’s hard to teach this old dog new tricks, I guess. 😀

    A wonderful and blessed New Year to both of you! I have declared Jesus as Lord of 2016.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    With so many new comers in the organization, it’s tough to predict who will ultimately prevail as the real savior for the Braves but I still believe the team is a couple of years out from being serious contenders for the play-offs. The young pitchers are going to have to mature and the bullpen is going to need to be consistent. To be clear, consistently better….. Still, it should be fun. I anxious to see some of the new pitchers strut their stuff this season.

    Too early to predict the order of finish for the NL East but the smart money will be on the gNats. Unless the Mets add some offense, I think they will be challenged by the Marlins this season for 2nd place. I guess we know where that leaves the Braves. .500 ball this season would be a welcome improvment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 6 chrisklob January 1, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    ‘evening folks and happy new year to each and all!

    the last year plus has been interesting. the purge has brought a lot of young, unproven talent back to the braves mix. they won’t all work out of course but if enough do realize their expected potential the bravos will be in pretty good shape. i agree with gil that .500 would be a welcome improvement, and after last year, i’d say that’s a pretty lofty goal. lots of kids still trying to not just learn to play the game on the field but adjust to big league life off the field too.

    i expect little in the way of contending this year but i expect 2016 to be a fun year to watch these flower buds blossom.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. 7 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2016 at 8:55 am

    So, anyone have a clue as to whom (we already know what) the Braves are thinking of picking with their number one pick this season? Too early?

    I’m pretty hyped to see some of these young arms show what they have. Pretty sure the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers are too so they can set aside the money it will take to acquire them from the Braves when they reach free agency.

    More and more I think baseball needs to adopt revenue sharing like the NFL. Either that or start a new league with teams which have a revenue base of 100 billion….

    Like

  8. 8 berigan2electricboogaloo January 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    mighty fine lead work as usual Gil! 🙂

    Like

  9. 9 Carolina Lady January 2, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Stuff: Was just reading Meadowlark Lemon’s obit – after he retired from the Globetrotters, he became an ordained minister targeting gangs, ‘at risk’ kids, prisons, etc. Age 83. A life well-lived.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Okay dokee, up from my mid-day nap… The wife said I was restricted to one nap per day so I am trying to make the best of it. I sure wish I had taken more naps when I was younger, I might still feel younger.

    I caught a little bit of the discussion on MLB network about potential Hall of Fame inductees…. One of particular interest to me was about Curt Shilling. Mad Dog bigmouth out of New York opined that Schilling should not be considered because he had never won a CY Young. Of course this was after they had trashed Roger Clemons for using steroids… I’m thinking, besides the fact he, big mouth, is loud and obnoxious, he is stupid. Curt may well have won a Cy Young if Clemmons wasn’t juicing…. Just saying…

    I have noticed that the one thing I have not softened on in my elder years is my disdain for stupid people. Miss Josie gets on me all the time when I am contemptuous towards some of these inept individuals but I cannot help myself. Stupidity is my Krytonite… Causes me to lose control all the time. Just cannot help myself. Of course when it come to Mad Dog it is simple… CLICK!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 11 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2016 at 8:10 am

    So, anyone have a clue as to whom (we already know what) the Braves are thinking of picking with their number one pick this season? Too early?

    Yes. 😉

    Actually, the full answer is that since the draft doesn’t happen until June, all of the potential draftees still have a full season yet to play. That “big board” will change alot over the next 6 months.

    Like

  12. 12 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Well, I have emerged from my short hibernation otherwise known as as the last few days of Christmas Break, or Winter Break by those politically correct lemmings who are weak of mind and spirit. The old routine returns today.

    CL, Jesus is Lord of 2016 and all days backward and forward. I’m grateful for your declaration. I’m even more grateful for each new day in His grace. Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

    Nice work on the lead, Gil. It’s a breathe of fresh air to see even the smallest amount of optimism. 44 days until P&RC… not that I’m counting or anything.

    Mrs. JoAnn, just ease back and as Chris said, “watch these flower buds blossom.” This will be a fun year to see young talent begin to gel. We just all have to have the patience to let the youngsters occasionally fail also. That’s how they grow into players strong in ability and character.

    Chris, I think .500 is a realistic expectation. And if any of the youngsters take a big step forward, they may do better than that. I have high expectations from some of the pitching, and not necessarily the biggest names that have been mentioned. Don’t sleep on Casey Kelly, Aaron Blair and Chris Ellis. And when Chris Withrow is consistently sitting batters down in the 7th or 8th inning, remember he came to us along with Hector in the infamous Cuban swap.

    Ber, the nice thing about the ol’ B&S is that we can agree to disagree without being disrespectful. In fact, that’s what “disagreement” used to mean. It seems that in most places these days disagreement means you have to take the gloves off and come out swingin’ to prove something. The funny thing is that none of us has any thing to prove; the players do. All we have to do is watch and see what happens. I look forward to doing just that then sitting down here to read/write about it. Seems like over the years we’ve seen several folks get “offended” by differing opinions and leave this little corner of blogdom. I don’t get it. I mean… think about it. If we all agreed on everything, it’d be awfully boring, wouldn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. 13 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Oh… and Happy New Year to everyone. I hope it’s the best yet for everyone!!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 14 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Like

  15. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Well, on paper, the gNats should have the better team but they play them on the field for a reason. Note to Pete Rose, don’t bet against the Braves… Or anyone else for that matter. I’ve noticed that “Draft Kings” is not as prominent as a sponsor they once were on NLB. I guess the new commissioner thought it to be a bit too hypocritical. Probably not… Those folks have only one goal and it does not really always help baseball.

    What a surprize, the Red Skins end up as division champs of the NFL Esat… What a wonder… Panthers looked strong…. They must have wanted to get the monkey of being undefeated off their backs when they played Atlanta.

    I don’t know any of these players any longer, some names I recognize but I am like many of the guys who vote (or not) for the Baseball Hall of Fame. After a while the game just passes you by, at least the purged the names of some of the non voters this year.

    I’m rooting for Schilling and Wagner but I doubt they will get in. I don’t get a vote…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 16 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Billy Wagner is da man!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 17 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Gil, I’m not sold on the gNats or Dusty Baker as their new manager. He has as big an ego as the players he’s going to manage. Not sure how that’s gonna mix.

    They lost Jordan Zimmermann and replaced him with… um, nobody. They do have Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg, a pretty dang good 1-2 punch. 3-5 isn’t that scary anymore though. Of all their potential starters, only Scherzer cracked the 200 IP (228.2) mark last year, and only #3 Gio Gonzalez pitched more than 128 (175.2). That puts pressure on the bullpen.

    Speaking of their bullpen, they’ve remade their’s more extensively than ATL. They are trying to trade their former closer, Drew Storen, so that they can keep their new closer, a headcase who tried to choke out their best player (and the league’s best player) in their dugout during a game. Once they trade their 2nd best bullpen arm in Drew Storen (which is nuts that they have to do so), the only holdovers will be the unstable Jonathan Papelbon and the unproven Felipe Rivero. Oliver Perez was their big ‘pen pickup. Yawn.

    They’ve lost their proven leadoff hitter and CF Denard Span and are pinning their hopes on rookie Michael Taylor. Still, the rookie may have better numbers than their “wookie” (Jayson Werth), whose bat has been in steady decline for a few years now. But they do have phenom Bryce Harper. I want to dislike him because of his cockiness, but I can’t help but like him because he plays every pitch like it’s the last one. He’s so much of a gamer that he’s gonna hurt himself. Again.

    They’re losing old SS Ian Desmond’s bat to FA. Their new SS Danny Espinosa doesn’t have nearly the offensive resumè as their old SS. Not even close. I suppose they could opt to play newly acquired Stephen Drew there, but his bat hasn’t been crap for a couple of years. They’re moving their old 3B Ryan Zimmerman over to 1B because he can’t throw anymore (his bat hasn’t really been that stellar lately, either), and moving their old 2B Anthony Rendon over to cover 3B. In doing so, Rendon’s numbers, that were really good for a 2B, are just pedestrian for a 3B. He’s still a good player, but he isn’t going to give any pitcher nightmares. Their “big” offensive acquisition is new 2B Daniel Murphy who got really hot in the playoffs to earn a lifetime contract. Sadly for WAS (but not for ATL), his career numbers don’t come close to justifying the deal. When all the dust settles, they will have someone new at every position in the infield. That is unless you count C Wilson Ramos who is… well, Wilson Ramos. Come to think of it, their IF is a bigger mess than ATL’s.

    I suppose I need to mention their bench to be completely thorough. Um, they have a handful of players on the bench that no one’s ever heard of except for Stephen Drew. Maybe Matt den Dekker. Maybe not. There. Thoroughness achieved.

    Good luck Dusty. I hope you’re as smart as you think you are. You have your work cut out for ya.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 18 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2016 at 11:44 am

    As everything currently looks on January 4, I see the NL East this way:

    #1 NY Mets. I must respect them. It hurts me to say that. Starting pitching. Wow. ‘Nuff said.
    #2 WAS gNats. See above.
    #3 FL Perch or ATL good guys The Seafoods are a flawed team with flawed upper management. They always seem to get in their own way. Why should 2016 be any different? Braves are unproven and largely unknown. So who knows?
    #5 Philly Phillies. They just suck, and it makes me happy to be able to say that. They do have a pretty good youngster at 3B in Maikel Franco, and CF Odubel Herrera was a nice Rule 5 pickup for them last season. But their rotation is just sadness. Well, not sadness for me. 🙂

    Now, there is still a good bit of time before the Hot Stove’s flames are completely quelled. WAS could still make a big purchase. But so could NYM. Let’s have this discussion again in 46 days and see where we stand.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Yes, we’ll have to wait and see on the Washington situation but despite their losses, they still have a great starting staff and a deep minor league system. Stan Kasten learned a lot while with the Braves about what it takes to build a winning formula. Of course the biggest loss for the gNats will be Denard Span. They moved Escobar to the Angels because they had Rendon who was a real plus when in the line up there. I was surprised when Brandon Phillips nixed the trade to Washington but they will have a place for Murphy to play.

    On Murphy, his contract reminds me so much of the one Atlanta gave to Melvin Upton. We’ll have to see if it has the same effect.

    Yes, the Met’s have a great starting staff but I think they lack the big bat it takes to carry a team. David Wright is a great player but the game is speeding up on him. It happens with age. Heck, a tee ball looks pretty quick to me… But I digress… The Mets could make a big move that would keep them in the hunt if they signed the streaky Justin Upton or even Cespedes if he is still available. At least it could be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 20 Vox O'Reason January 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

    The Battery is coming along nicely. Those buildings will help fund a nice FA or 2 in the upcoming years. SunTrust Park is to the right. I need to find a good picture of it somewhere…

    Like

  21. 21 Vox O'Reason January 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Well that was easier than expected. 😀

    Like

  22. 22 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Looks like the sun is shining on Sun Trust… When I fist saw your post, I thought it was about a pitcher and catcher combo.

    Winter finally arrived here yesterday, glad we got some of that global warming behind us… Pesky thing about science, facts often get in the way of theories, at least that is what the dinosaurs thought….

    Speaking of dinosaurs, days like today make me long for spring. I feel kind of trapped inside. Not that I can do a whole lot outside but it is nice to have the option…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 23 Vox O'Reason January 5, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    It’s winter here too, Gil. Funny thing… the same people that were complaining that it was “too hot” for Christmas are now complaining that they’re too cold. I was perfectly happy to be able to wear shorts and flip-flops at Christmas and would be perfectly happy to be able to wear shorts and flip-flops now.

    Like

  24. 24 Vox O'Reason January 5, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Would make a very good LH platoon partner with Adonis, as well as a great mentor for all the youngsters.

    Like

  25. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Yes VOX, it is why I think a little “global warming could be a good thing. Think of all the wheat that will be able to be produced in Canada. Flooding Miami FLA? That is a bad thing?

    I am so ready to vote Republican, I don’t know what to do.

    I have owned a gun since I was 12 years old. I never saw a need to Join the NRA until Obama got elected. I may have to make a trip to my local gun store just as a matter of spite. Lord knows I don’t need another one but well… You know….

    Liked by 2 people

  26. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I’d take another flier on Kelly Johnson…. What is to lose?

    Liked by 2 people

  27. 27 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Obummer has done more for gun sales in this country than any other single thing I can think of.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2016 at 8:30 am

    JoAnn put me onto an old actor’s trick about Obama’s tearing up. Said he likely had something like cayenne pepper on his finger which he rubbed on first his left eye and then his right to get them to tear up. See, all that time spent with celebrities is paying off for him.

    I guess it was too cold for him to get in a round of golf yesterday afternoon. I think he was thinking about that too. It use to make me sad… I predict another busy day at the local gun shops.

    On background checks. In Virginia, it cost $2.00 for the state police but most dealers now charge $25 for the paperwork and some charge up to $75. Not like they have to do anything other than hand you the form to fill out and then fax it to the police.

    I thought Guttfeld said it best yesterday when he said the left and the right both have their sacred cows. For the right it’s gun control, for the left it’s Roe vs. Wade. No one trust the other and for good reason I think. No one can be trusted…. It is like a player hiring Scott Boras… Would love to play for his hometown but never knows when he will be dumped. Baseball is a occupation with a short career span. The number of guys who can make a living off of it for more than 20 years is fewer than the number of people in the Hall Of Fame.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 29 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Now THIS makes me happy. For all the stories of Gordon going here or there, and that KC simply couldn’t afford to keep him, he’s going back “home”. This is how it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 30 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 10:02 am

    And how great is that for the KC fans?

    Like

  31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Pretty reasonable deal for all concerned, 31 year old player gets 4 years $72MM. That’s about the going rate. Not so long as to not allow the Royals to sign some of their other young players money to stay when they reach free agency.

    Still out there are Cespedes and Upton….. I think one signs with the Mets

    Like

  32. 32 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Well, obviously the news cycle for MLB has slowed down dramatically. Yes, there are still a bunch of FAs available, and a handful are impact FAs. But it doesn’t appear that there is any more clamor to compete for them. Alex Gordon was probably the last one with a relatively wide interest. JUp and Yoenis Cespedis are going to have to find the “right fit”. Same for Ian Desmond and Chris Davis. P’s Tyler Clippard and Antonio Bastardo are a little different in that they probably still have multiple teams interested, but obviously they are looking for more than teams are willing to offer. All of the remaining FAs with QOs attached (and thus the cost of a draft pick) are likely going to have to wait until some team realizes it has a more pressing need than currently appears… like when the Braves lost 2 starting pitchers within 24 hours a couple years back.

    As for the Braves, I do not foresee any more moves with the possible exception of signing KJ version 3. Aside from that, they are probably finished until they get well into spring to see how there mob of low level signees shake out. I also imagine they could trade one of their veteran pitching reclamation projects (Bud Norris, Kyle Kendrick, Jhoulys Chacín) if more than one shows that they have some life left. Chacín is young enough to hold onto at AAA, but Norris and Kendrick have some miles on the chassis. I can’t see the team hanging onto both… similar to Eric Stults and Wandy Rodriguez last season.

    It’s probably OK to start learning who some of the new folks are. While Erick Aybar is a possible candidate for a mid-season trade, most of the recent acquisitions are here to stay for a while.

    Like

  33. 33 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Good. That piece of business is now out of the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 34 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 11:55 am

    KJ pretty much makes Nick Swisher redundant now. The Braves have been looking to eat money and trade one of Swisher or Bourn. Now they may be looking to part with both. KJ and Swisher are redundant; Bourn and Emilio Bonfacio are redundant. Except Boni is more versatile.

    I used to think that Bourn’s primary contribution would be to mentor Mallex Smith, but now I’m thinking otherwise.

    Like

  35. 35 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    DOB says KJ’s deal is a 1 year major league deal, which of course guarantees it. No terms have been released yet. His 2015 deal was for $1.5M; one might reasonably expect his 2016 to be similar, maybe even as much as $2M. As currently stands, not counting whatever KJ is guaranteed and estimating the arb and pre-arb raises, the Braves 2016 payroll is at about $94,376,042. So one could reasonably expect the total payroll to remain under $100M.

    I’ll be back with a contract number as soon as it appears.

    Like

  36. 36 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Well dadgum…

    Just as I say that things have slowed to a grinding halt, the Braves bring back KJ, the Dodgers bring back Brandon Beachy, and the Pirates sign Neftali Feliz. All of this followed Alex Gordon returning to KC.

    So that thing I said about it being slow..? Never mind that.

    Like

  37. 37 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Yep. 1 year, $2M. Predictable.

    Like

  38. 38 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    My early guess says that Michael Bourn will be traded (with much money flushed down the toilet) and Swish stays. Obviously team interest will ultimately determine who goes, but it makes more sense for the Braves to send Bourn away now that KJ is on board. Plus, it’s been a while since the team had pop on the bench, and Swish has a little at least.

    Like

  39. 39 Carolina Lady January 6, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, with Griffey receiving the highest vote percentage ever.

    More on this story: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2016/01/06/cooperstown-comes-calling-for-ken-griffey-jr-and-mike-piazza.html

    Liked by 2 people

  40. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    I would not be surprised to see both Borne and Swisher playing for the Braves deep into spring training at least to see what they have left as well as to showcase them to other teams to gin up some interest in one of these guys. Like you said, they are spent money. No need to just drop them unless they have absolutely no value and until we see them play a bit this spring, the Braves have nothing to lose keeping them around. Having opined all that, with the signing of Kelly Johnson, I suspect the Braves already have some offers, low that they may be, for either Swisher or Bourne. Bonifacio is signed to a minor league contract so if they drop him to Triple A, no biggie.

    These guys are all “old” pros so they know the deal. Show up in shape and try to hang onto their jobs while the kids continue to get at bats in the minors preparing them to take over the high priced guys spot on the roster.

    You never know when a player will get hurt trying to open a car door or some other inane act. Never know when that drug test you took six months ago will turn up positive. I am not speaking of only the Braves per se but all of baseball. Some other team might be willing to pay Swisher $5MM to have a seasoned vet and power bat on the bench. My suggestion is for all these guys to try and fatten their stats while they can in spring training. Having a great attitude etc. Someone is always watching so you never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 41 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    So, the official fix is in, you don’t need no stinking glove to get into the baseball hall of fame. Just be able to hit and play passable defense, sort of.

    I think we need to start a grass roots campaign to get get Ber’s favorite catcher into the hall. Start sending e-mails to the veterans committee to elect Ted Simmons.

    And no Trevor Time? Too bad he didn’t play in New York, he would have been elected in a landslide.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. 42 Vox O'Reason January 7, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Bonifacio is signed to a minor league contract so if they drop him to Triple A, no biggie.

    Actually, he has too many accrued years of service. He could (would) opt for FA rather than a minor league assignment. His minor league deal simply means it isn’t guaranteed money. If he makes the team out of camp, it becomes a major league deal.

    I think they really want Boni on this team unless he just stinks it up in camp. They like his versatility. They’ve acquired a handful of guys that can play multiple positions – Boni, KJ, Gordon Beckham… even Daniel Castro can play around the IF if he can get back up to the big league club.

    Boni has significant ML time at 2B and 3B as well as all 3 OF positions. He even logged several games at SS earlier in his career in MIA. As we all know, KJ has played all 4 IF positions and both corner OF positions. Beckham was a SS in college – UGA baby! Go Dawgs!! – and has played SS, 2B and 3B in ML. Castro also has ML experience at those 3 positions.

    Thus, Bourn is the most likely to be traded since almost the whole roster can cover his LF position. 🙂

    Seriously, though. I agree that the team would probably gain more value by taking Bourn and Swish into Spring Training to let them show they still have game left. Of course, the opposite is possible too. Personally, I’d like to keep Swisher for a bench piece. At least he has HR capability. He’s a good backup for 1B (which we hopefully will not need at all in 2016) and would not take a roster spot from a 4th OF since you have both KJ and Boni on the team. And he’s the ideal DH when you are forced into the atrocity of playing in an AL home park.

    Like

  43. 43 Vox O'Reason January 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Since we’re talking about rosters, backups and depth, let’s look at what we have under contract right now, since the team is pretty much done picking up new pieces. I’ll list the position players whom I feel will open the season as starter (in bold), followed by the backups. I’ll indicate possible platoons too. Notice some players will be listed more than once. Also, I am listing both Bourn and Swisher even though there likely won’t be roster spots for both. But for the sake of this exercise, I’ll beg for forgiveness on that technicality:

    LF- Olivera; Bourn, Swisher, KJohnson, Bonifacio
    CF- Inciarte; Bourn. Bonifacio
    RF- Markakis; Inciarte, Bonifacio; KJohnson
    1B- Freeman; Swisher, KJohnson
    2B- Peterson / Beckham; KJohnson, Bonifacio
    SS- Aybar; Beckham, Bonifacio, KJohnson
    3B- KJohnson / Garcia; Beckham, Bonifacio, Olivera
    C- Pierzynski / Flowers

    The starting pitching candidates are as follows, with those I feel are locks in bold. Obviously I am listing more than 5 starters, but all of these should have a shot at winning a spot:

    Teheran, Wisler, Banuelos, Norris, Foltynewicz, WPerez, Chacin, Kendrick, Weber, Blair, Ellis

    Similarly, there are alot of bullpen candidates. As before, I’ll indicate those I feel are locks in bold:

    Vizcaino, Withrow, Grilli, Winkler, JJohnson, Krol, Rutckyj, Marksberry, McKirahan, Ogando, Torres, Carpenter, Burawa, Ramirez, Cunniff, Hursh, Kelly, Feigl

    Yes, there is great depth even if not great talent. I think one of the things that will be different from last season is the bullpen depth. Last season they were forced to call on youngsters like Matt Marksberry, Ryan Kelly, and Brandon Cunniff. Kids who truly were not yet ready for The Show. None of these kids should have sniffed a a major league roster last season, but they competed admirably if not capably. The additions of veterans JJohnson, Krol, Ogando, Torres, and Carpenter will insure that doesn’t happen again.

    Like

  44. 44 Vox O'Reason January 7, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Yikes!! Take Brady Feigl off the list of bullpen candidates. I forgot that he had TJ surgery last April. Since he was at AAA, it kinda slipped under the radar. There is an outside chance that Shae Simmons could be ahead of schedule, but he’s more likely a May or June addition following his TJ surgery last Feb. The DL giveth; the DL taketh away.

    For those wondering, team doctors say Grilli will be at full speed with no restrictions when ST opens.

    Like

  45. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2016 at 9:57 am

    And we don’t know as yet which rookie will break through and make a significant impression on the coaches and management. I would expect several of the highly touted lids, Smith, Albie, Swanson etal to get a chance to have the “big league” experience plus some personal tutoring from the big league staff. Sometimes making the leap between AA and AAA can be significant.

    I would love to be able to just sit in the stands and evaluate but alas, not in the cards this year. Still, we don’t know what we don’t know….

    It is the job of the front office to try and pet a positive spin on every player. Not only to sell tickets but to keep up the spirits of the fans thru good times and bad. We all know there will always be a bias towards the Yankees and the Red Sox as well as the Dodgers and the Mets. Just will because of where the media emanates from. I would throw in the Cardinals but it is a begrudgingly given thing because the St Louis bunch is just well run and constantly atop of their league.

    The Braves built a national following because of Ted Turner’s money and vision on how to make more. Regional sports is the thing now. Of course the Braves will have a national following until the old long time fans like myself die off but they try to keep me in touch by allowing me the privilege to get the Braves on TV for a price. I could easily become a Nats fan if I were so inclined and save a ton of money. I could even switch to the Giants and go to the Double A club here in Richmond. BUT… I’m too stubborn to change now, even if most of the Braves players I know/knew are playing somewhere else and I am loath to jump on the band wagon of whatever team happens to be in first place…

    Okay, enough of that …

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Glad to see that Bowman is still reading our blog…

    http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/161277908/braves-may-try-to-trade-nick-swisher

    Liked by 2 people

  47. 47 Vox O'Reason January 8, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Don’t know if this roster is readable…

    Like

  48. 48 Vox O'Reason January 8, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Speaking of roster, since KJ’s deal is a ML deal, the Braves will have to make a corresponding move to open a 40-man roster spot for him. That explains why there has not been an official announcement of the deal. One has to think the team would really like someone to take Swisher or Bourn right away to open that spot. I seriously doubt it will work out that easily. Somebody will have to be DFA’d or outright released.

    The only candidate I see is Danny Burawa. Maybe an outside chance they let Joey Terdo go. I hope not.

    Would they just outright release Bourn and eat the $14M he is due? It’s spent money already. Maybe they will find a taker for him and only eat $10M or $12M. Hey, even a $2M savings is nothing to sneeze at. It will pay for KJ.

    Methinks we’ll find out soon.

    Like

  49. 49 Vox O'Reason January 8, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Those would be:

    #1 IF Dansby Swanson
    #2 P Sean Newcombe
    #3 IF Ozzie Albies
    #4 P Aaron Blair
    #7 P Tyrell Jenkins
    #8 P Manny Banuelos
    #10 P Lucas Sims
    #11 P Chris Ellis
    #12 3B Rio Ruiz
    #13 OF Braxton Davidson

    Like

  50. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2016 at 9:39 am

    I agree VOX, they will have to move someone around, of course other teams will be doing the same thing. I guess as far as eating salary. I get the feeling it is like using a credit card and paying the interest at loan shark rates.

    Speaking of which, I can remember back in the 70s when it was proposed that folks use credit as a way to boost the economy. That was the express line to instant gratification and ruin. I got the feeling we were all in trouble. It’s like so many ponzi schemes, at some point someone is left holding the bag.

    I’m sure the Braves have to watch their expenses a little closer than a lot of other teams because they are part of a publicly traded company so they have to report their profits and losses.

    Like

  51. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Joey T may well be on the bubble this year. His ceiling may well have been reached. I don’t know if he will ever get the chance with the Braves to progress beyond his severely limited role. His best opportunity might be as a player included as a throw in with Bourne or Swisher in a trade for some mid level reliever or defensive minded catcher. I am sure the wheels have been turning behind the scenes as we opine.

    Like

  52. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2016 at 9:53 am

    Remember last winter when we were talking about guys like Eury Perez and E.J. Jr as the Braves best centerfield options? That and the dearth of relief pitching and lack of depth in major league ready pitching?

    Like

  53. 53 Vox O'Reason January 8, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Yes, Gil. It’s been a dramatic change in just 12 months. And when I say “dramatic”, I’m actually understating it somewhat.

    If you ask me, it’s possible that the Braves won’t carry Bourn or Swisher into the regular season, and April-June will be a time for Nick Markakis to re-establish his market value with a renewed power stroke. The Braves OF will eventually be Hector/Mallex Smith/Inciarte, so it’s quite plausible that they’d try to get some value in trade from Nick when the getting is good. His contract is fairly team friendly – if he gets his power back – and only requires a commitment through the end of 2017.

    And if BAL loses Chris Davis to FA, which they almost certainly will, and then whiffs on both JUp and Cespedis, they may circle back to former O’s fave Nick sooner than later.

    Like

  54. 54 Vox O'Reason January 8, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Another prophet star to be handed out. (How’s our stock on these? Are we running out yet?)

    Joey Terdo was indeed placed on waivers to accommodate KJ on the 40-man roster. He was quickly snatched up by BAL. See ya Terdo. Hope you improve from a nice AAAA player and do some things up there in Camden Yards.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville January 8, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Some times it scares me we are so right. Does that mean the Braves are predictable?

    Liked by 1 person

  56. 56 Carolina Lady January 8, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    This day in Braves history in 2014: Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. 57 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    I think Baltimore will be a good fit for Terdoslavich. Their training camp is in Sarasota, Camden Yards is much hitter friendly and the Os have need for a player like Joey T. He is not exactly Chris Davis but given the opportunity to play with greater frequency, he may yet develop. He has had the potential.

    Perhaps Joey’s greatest fault was his connection to the Frank Wren regime.

    Like

  58. 58 Carolina Lady January 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Poor little guy! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  59. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Nice piece on Kelly Johnson by Mark Bowman over at the Braves MLB site.

    Like

  60. 60 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Randy Buchman, The Baltimore Wire:

    ‘Beyond all of this [debate over the waiver claim of Joey Terdoslavich] is the fun of playing with his name in totally juvenile fashion. Orioles boards lit up quickly with such comments. I have to say that I literally did LOL when one person said that the O’s free agent efforts had them trying to take a Leake, but getting a Terd instead.”

    Liked by 2 people

  61. 61 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Tomahawk Take’s Jeff Schafer on Braves 2015 #1 pick 18-year-old LHP Kolby Allard:

    He stands 6-feet-1 and 175 pounds and his fastball consistently sits at 92-94 mph and has reportedly hit 96 mph. He also has a tremendous curve ball that has scouts drooling over.

    Since he didn’t sign with the Braves until July, he only started three games for the Braves Gulf Coast League. In his debut, he struck out the side in his one inning of work. In his next start on August 15, he struck out five in his two innings on the mound. In his final start, Allard struck out four while allowing his first and only hit of the 2015 season. Six innings pitched, 12 strikeouts, no walks… not too shabby!

    I’ll add only this: at just 18, he may not grow any more in inches to his height, but he’ll almost certainly fill out that 6’1″ frame and could easily add a couple mph to his fastball as he continues to develop. He already has plus control over a plus changeup and plus curve, as evidenced by his high K rate and low BB rate. He does have a 3rd pitch in a changeup, but it has not developed to the same degree. (As a HS pitcher, Allard didn’t need anything beyond his dominating fb/curve.)

    All that said, it’s not hard to see why Baseball Prospectus has the youngster rated as the team’s #5 prospect already, ahead of more recognizable names such as Tyrell Jenkins, Manny Banuelos, Max Fried and Lucas Sims. But those guys are the immediate future. Allard is still 3-4 years away.

    Like

  62. 62 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I just gave a good glance over the Braves Pipeline again, and having looked at this list alot recently, I have become so familiar with the prospect list that I have almost forgotten how special many of these names really are.

    But looking over the stable of pitching again this morning, it does somewhat amaze me just how many potential top-of-the-rotation pitchers (#1 or 2) the Braves braintrust has amassed – Sean Newcomb, Tyrell Jenkins, Lucas Sims, Max Fried, Touki Toussaint, Ricardo Sanchez, Kolby Allard, and Mike Soroka. I’d guess there is a good chance we will see Newcomb, Jenkins and Sims make their ML debuts in some capacity before 2016 is done. And Fried could do the same in 2017.

    That doesn’t even touch on the other notable pitchers that are also found on the Braves Top 30 list, including Manny Banuelos, Aaron Blair, Chris Ellis, Jason Hursh, Zack Bird, and John Gant. With a few ML starts already under his belt, and being a LH, ManBan has the inside edge to an Opening Day rotation spot. But don’t sleep on Blair or Ellis. And I predict Hursh to transition completely to relief and help out our bullpen in 2017, if not 2016.

    That doesn’t even mention Matt Wisler or Folty. We know what we have in Wisler, who ought to be even better this season after turning the corner late in 2015. But Folty is the Wild Card. He has the potential to be either Justin Verlander… or Tommy Hanson. Or he could be the next Dellin Betances, or Wade Davis, or Mark Melancon, or Jonathan Papelbon (minus the crazy factor). Personally, I don’t see Folty falling into the “fail” category. I think he’ll either figure it out and dominate as a starter, or he’ll move to the bullpen and dominate as a closer. He’s got that hard 4-seamer and hard sinker, both that come in at 96-mph or so and miss bats. But those will only work once through the lineup. He’s got a decent curve that he can throw in as an offspead pitch to keep batters honest. But it’s the hard slider that’s the key to his success. He cannot find a consistent release for it. At times it’s Smoltzian in its tightness and unhittability. At other times, it’s more Bugs Bunny-like and loopy. If he could perfect that pitch he’d be a beast.

    Like

  63. 63 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Oh my goodness! This has plastered a big ol’ smile on my face that will stay there a while. Can we please get Joe Simpson to do this every time Adonis Garcia goes yard this season? Please? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Yep, likely hit around 190 or so but for a pitcher, you want to add muscle mass to your legs but only tone the arms. Build stamina not bulk. Bulk is bad for a pitcher not named Bartolo Colon but I think it is a different kind of mass we are speaking of there.

    Yes, it is the third pitch that gets you through the third time around. Always something to keep the batter off balance. Tis why Juan Jamie with his 98 mph fastball was not a big league success, he has the tools but you can fix everything with just a hammer.

    Kelly has four years to hone his craft but don’t be surprised to see him sooner in a relief role late in the season. Should be fun for the folks in Rome, Pearl and Gwennette next couple of years to watch him progress.

    You never know though, I watched Jonny Venters pitch as a starter in Triple A and I never thought he would have any success. He would get lit up something awful. Shows how important it is for someone to find their niche.

    Speaking of young pitchers, and some not so young, I always thought it was a mistake for Frank Wren to trade Tim Collins away, glad to see Kris Medlin getting back into form and I hope Brandon Beachy can make a comeback.

    Like

  65. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Adonis looks like he has added a little mass to his body this winter. Funny thing how a player can come out of nowhere to become part of your future. I don’t know if you other guys have been listening to some of the talking heads about voting for (in favor of) guys who took PEDs during their careers but I think they reveal themselves to be persons of low moral character when they accept cheating. Perhaps if the team had to forfeit all the games that player participated in MLB would get serious about making sure the game stayed honest. I know the other players on the team would not be looking the other way.

    I know a lot of you folks don’t remember Al Capp and his comic strip L’il Abner but that Kick-A-Poo Joy Juice had exactly the same effect as steroids… The man was a prophet.

    Baseball players do not need to be big and muscle bound. They kneed strong wrist to put pop in the ball blessed with God given talent.

    I’d rather have Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose in the HOF before the likes of Roger Clemmons and Barry Bonds don’t have to pay full price for admission to enter the building.

    Liked by 2 people

  66. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Lots of potential ones and twos mentioned VOX, I expect a couple will go to another team for a “name” player before all is said and done.

    One thing I would like to see is for the Braves to push their young pitching to go more than five innings a game but that appears to be the philosophy of the organization. You don’t train for a marathon by running sprints all the time.

    Like

  67. 67 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Gil, I believe modern prevailing thought sticks very close to pitch counts… specifically the magical 100 pitch mark. (Of course, Leo Mazzone despises the concept of the ptch count.) But the key for pitchers to go deep into games is to work efficiently. Don’t waste pitches, don’t get too deep in counts, know how to pitch to contact for an out, etc. You know… all the things Greg Maddux did so well. 😉

    Like

  68. 68 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2016 at 7:15 am

    Like

  69. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Yes, it was a surprisingly good football game. I thought Clemson really played a better game but Bama struck for the BIG PLAY several times and that was the difference. A couple of bad calls by the refs but that is part of the game too.

    I didn’t sleep well last night for some reason… rats… will be a tough day today.

    I did finish Killing Reagan last night. It was okay, learned a few new facts, not a real fan of O’Rielly and Dugart’s writing style John Grishom’s latest work was a better read.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. 70 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Can’t see it happening, but Heyman generally doesn’t toss out wild rumors just to generate clicks. Gotta give it a least a sideways glance.

    Like

  71. 72 Vox O'Reason January 14, 2016 at 9:40 am

    What? 😯

    Like

  72. 73 Gil in Mechanicsville January 14, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Hey, the kid has always possessed a strong arm. I guess he never really returned to form as a hitter after injuring his wrist. What is that Tom Glavin says? Pitchers are athletes.

    Like

  73. 74 Vox O'Reason January 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    That leaves only one arb guy… Arodys Vizcaino. I would imagine they’ll reach a deal with him also. I don’t anticipate any drama.

    Like

  74. 75 Gil in Mechanicsville January 14, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Would would think that after having served a suspension for being found to be taking PEDs, Vizcaino has a lot of chupas to try and go to arbitration. Major league minimum will prevail. Me thinks he has been listening to his agent espouse how great he is and how desperate the Braves might be.

    I doubt the money is as big an issue as the respect.

    If a club is willing to eat $14MM for a player not to play, I doubt $100 grand is going to be a sticking point.

    Like

  75. 76 Vox O'Reason January 15, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I predict Viz and the team agree on $1M and forego “file-and-trial”.

    Like

  76. 77 Vox O'Reason January 15, 2016 at 8:11 am

    P&CR 5 weeks from today. 😀

    Not that I’m counting…

    Like

  77. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I have had an epiphany. Yes, shocking, I know… Anyway, I have come to the conclusion that when a general manager signs a player to a long term contract, they have two things in mind. One, will I still be here when said player bombs out? Two, they liken the money paid for a player to be like buying a car. Will the car be worth just as much when they are still making payment 7 years from now or are they just going to figure they got their money’s worth out of it in the first five years and are willing to just donate it to the Volunteers of America and write off the loss. Sometimes they trade it off for a newer model but the balanced is rolled into the price of a new one….

    Liked by 1 person

  78. 79 berigan2electricboogaloo January 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Gil, I don’t even know what a GM is anymore :/ teams seem to want 8 layers of executives now…cuz we all know too many chefs make great food…or something…..
    Dodgers just hired the former GM of the Blue Jays (Had to look up his name…no way could spell that) Alex Anthopoulos hired by Dodgers as vice-president of baseball ops…whatever that means…I get the feeling the Dodgers are going to be the next Nats…chronic underachievers….

    Like

  79. 80 berigan2electricboogaloo January 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

    V, I really wish I shared your enthusiasm about the upcoming season!
    I will watch…of course…but I know that .500 is basically a pipe dream for 2016….winning more games than 2015 is the more realistic, goal, IMO. (and you know how much weight my opines have! 😛 )
    I know, I know….V and I will just have to agree to disagree again.

    Here’s an interesting story on how the NL is going to have a lot of sucky teams in 2016 (though in the braves defense, the one exec mentioned could see what they were doing, and weren’t tanking…I’d still say they were tanking, but at least it makes some sense)
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/14568028/odd-troubling-state-national-league

    Like

  80. 81 Vox O'Reason January 15, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    So Stark goes off and writes an entire thesis based on the prediction of one number-oriented web site whose gaunt and ghastly white contributors likely have never seen the green grass of an actual ballpark? A prediction, I might add, that’s made before many if not most of the teams have come close to finalizing their 2016 rosters. Ludicrous. Simple click bait, actually. I’m a little surprised at Stark. It seems more up Rosenthal’s alley.

    But sure, I’ll buy it. Global warming too, while I’m at it. 🙄

    You want to know what the real problem is? It’s been coming for years, and we’ve been awaiting its arrival. The payrolls have gotten so big that they are unsustainable. But it’s the proverbial “runaway train” because at the same time that the owners have been rolling out massive contracts, they’ve allowed the Players Association to gain more and more traction. When owners are handcuffed to increasing payrolls via the threat of legal action, the bubble must continue to inflate. And what did we learn from the artificial inflation of the housing bubble? Yep, alot of entities are gonna get blown to bits.

    When the family breadwinner has difficulty making ends meet, he/she has to supplement their income with a second and sometimes third job. That’s what teams are now doing. Teams aren’t tanking, their gasping. And they are forced to do so much more than run a ballclub now. They must “develop real estate”, as Gil says. They must run TV stations. They must oversee entertainment districts. That’s why they have so many more layers to management. They have that many more tasks to accomplish.

    It’s the era of business creativity, with much of it centering on the ability to generate gobs of TV revenue and advertising dollars. And the biggest markets – NY, LA, Chicago, etc. – will always have the advantage there.

    At some point it will all collapse just like the housing market did. Consumers will become tired of paying $20 to park, $35 for a seat, and $10 for a hot dog. They’ll just be happy to sit in their own recliners and enjoy Section HD where they can go to their own restroom without stepping in everyone else’s pee. And they can go to their own fridge for the beverage of choice with no lines and wallet busting prices. And you know why they’re happy to do it? Because the same TV stations that shelled out so much $$$ for the rights to show the games are broadcasting them right to the consumers’ living rooms. And the parks will eventually be empty.

    Doesn’t make much sense to me for these companies to spend so much money to make the product so much better that people will choose to kill the golden goose and just stay home.

    But what do I know? I’m just a middle class schmoe trying to make it day to day. I live in the real world away from all the really smart executives making really smart decisions in their ivory tower corner offices.

    And thank God for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Guys, what scares me is how long before teams resort to green screen crowds, you know, like they do in the movies? We can’t be too far away from that. Might even have a few computer generated players while we are at it….

    Yes, the GM is now just another mid level exec who has to answer to a couple of more layers of supervision.

    I thought about driving up to DC a couple of times last summer but the sofa was soooo much closer and easier… I’m already paying about $1.50 a game with the baseball package so I can watch the Braves, why I’m not sure but I do. Like buying a Power ball ticket methinks…

    Don’t you just love the guys who blame low oil prices on the stock market woes? Same guys who blamed the high oil prices on the stock market woes… While I have some money in the market, I’ll take the cheap gas. I allows me to pay the extra it cost at the grocery store.

    Having money invested in the stock market is like have all your stuff on your hard drive of your CPU and thinking it will never crash… BACK IT UP!!! It’s the same, not a matter of if, just when…

    Liked by 3 people

  82. 83 berigan2electricboogaloo January 15, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    V, I think January is national Clickbait month 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  83. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    The Braves and right-handed reliever Arodys Vizcaino avoided going to a salary arbitration hearing when they agreed to a one-year, $897,500 contract.

    You were pretty close VOX. Not a million but close enough.

    Like

  84. 85 Carolina Lady January 15, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    What could any of us do with that much money??

    Liked by 1 person

  85. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2016 at 5:31 am

    Not to worry CL, I would figure it out… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  86. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    For sure, I would quit my job, if I had one…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 88 Carolina Lady January 16, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    gondeee
    ‏@gondeee

    Braves 1st-round picks for 2016 draft: 3, 39, 43. Second year in a row w/ 3 top-50 picks. Has not happened for ATL since 2000-01

    Liked by 1 person

  88. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville January 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    CL, The Braves only real find in both of those drafts was Adam Wainwright and they gave him away. The choose Scott Thorman with their first daft pick in 2000. Who was in charge back then?

    A lot of really bad picks in 2000 and 2001. For sure, it is not an exact science.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 90 Vox O'Reason January 18, 2016 at 10:57 am

    The Braves only real find in both of those drafts was Adam Wainwright and they gave him away

    Ouch… don’t remind me. But the flip side, for those who hate the way the Braves have “torn it down”, is that the Braves are the ones stealing the next Adam Wainright from someone. Might be Sean Newcomb. Maybe Aaron Blair. Could even be former Cardinal Tyrell Jenkins. Heck, for all we know, it might turn out to be Folty. We sure have alot of gems with Waino potential.

    Turned out OK for St. Louie, didn’t it?

    Like

  90. 91 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Not that I am knocking the Braves for blowing up the team to rebuild, it was actually long over due, it was just having good draft picks are no guarantee of success. A lot like all the horror stories we hear about folks who win the lottery and end up broke. You need to know what you are doing to get the maximum return. The Pirates are a good example of how great draft picks did not work out for them until just recently.

    The Nats have drafted well but they hired a lot of the folks Frank Wren ran off. Still, potential versus actual performance is never an exact science. I guess that is why so many pitchers are drafted, those and shortstops…

    Wide spread PEDs use has so badly skewed and distorted the expectations of how a player should perform we may never know what is the norm. I do think a sudden change in a player’s numbers for the better warrants a second look. I do think however baseball is headed to a course correction on salaries. I just do not believe the current business model is sustainable.

    There is a huge difference in what can be reasonably be expected of an athlete as far as performance when their body is not allowed sufficient recovery time between games. That was the real key to using PEDs. Rapid healing of stretched muscle fibers.

    Oh well, get it while you can guys, put away enough so you can actually have some marketable skills when baseball is done with you.

    Like

  91. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2016 at 8:00 am

    So, Justin Upton signs a 6 year deal with Detroit, Somewhere around $131MM but he can opt out in two years if he doesn’t like the water…. or any other reason. As of yet, the Padre’s are still stuck with big brother Melvin…. The Padres also traded Kimbrel to the BoSox earlier this Hot Stove season so the grand experiment did not go so well for them…

    Detroit has a predominantly right handed line up now but good hitters can hit most anyone. Justin should fit right in.

    Like

  92. 93 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Today is January 19. You know what that means, right? Only 1 month until P&CR. Tomorrow we get to begin counting days, not that I’m counting or anything…

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 94 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Yep, Gil. $135M for JUp and $184M for JHey. It appears the Braves were right that they wouldn’t be able to afford to keep them, huh?

    But we do get to keep #9 prospect Max Fried, #17 prospect Mallex Smith, #19 prospect Dustin Peterson as well as lineup regular Jace Peterson, all instead of one more year of JUp.

    And we do get to keep #7 prospect Tyrell Jenkins and had 1 year of Shelby Miller, who was flipped for #1 prospect Dansby Swanson, #4 prospect Aaron Blair as well as new lineup regular Ender Inciarte, all instead of one more year of JHey.

    I think we did OK.

    Like

  94. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Yes, and Chris Davis re-signed for $161MM with the Orioles. Guys who can hit with power are expensive… I doubt Freddie Freeman will end his career with the Braves. Heck, Markakis might not last 3 more years.

    With Chris Carter moving on to new environs, one wonders if Evan Gattis might not see some turns at first base for the Astros?

    Like

  95. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2016 at 11:53 am

    So, here is the deal from my view point. The cost of something is always relative to how old you are. Kids today will reminisce 20 years from now when a hamburger was only $5. When they only got $20 for mowing a neighbor’s lawn (a quarter acer lot I might add. When it only cost $25 for a trip to a movie and that included a pop corn and a soda. I think ya’ll can see where this is going….

    It’s inflation which scare me the most. I think that is always the fear for someone who cannot keep up with inflation by making more money. It’s what the newest car I own is 11 years old. I know Ber, new to you but still….

    Now I know why my grandfather drove a 1948 Plymouth and avoided the interstate. Those old flat heads did not really like going over 55mph anyway.

    Guess what, the flurries we had Sunday are still hanging around. Normally an inch of snow vanishes after one day. Makes me understand why the “snowbirds” from New Jersey and New York all head for Florida for the winter.

    It’s iffy as to whether we will get snow or rain this weekend. The low pressure systems that swing around to the east side of the Allegheny Mts bringing moister meets the cold air coming from the northwest it Katy bar the door, of course the warm air coming off the Gulf Stream will warm things up just enough to keep the white stuff clear. My advice is for the kids to do their homework and don’t rely on the weather to give you an extra day.

    Like

  96. 97 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Heck, Markakis might not last 3 more years.

    Heck, he might not last 3 more months. 😉

    Like

  97. 98 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    With Chris Carter moving on to new environs, one wonders if Evan Gattis might not see some turns at first base for the Astros?

    They moved Carter along to make way for young bopper Jon Singleton, with whom the two formerly created a logjam there. Carter had a monster 2014, but not so much in 2015. Singleton seemed to be the Astros’ future at 1B after taking over for Carter late last season. 3b starter Luis Valbuena shows up next on their depth chart followed by Marwin Gonzalez. Gattis doesn’t show up anywhere else on their depth chart but DH. Not even as a catcher.

    Like

  98. 99 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    And speaking again of Markakis…

    Even after re-signing Chris Davis, BAL is said to still be looking for RF options since their incumbents are somewhat underwhelming. Pre-Davis, they were rumored to be the favorite for Cespedis, but no longer have the funds nor long term willingness. But reportedly they do still have about $11M they could give for a couple more years. And that fits familiar face Nick Markakis to a tee.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily advocate shipping Markakis out anywhere. Even with his neck-related power outage, he was probably our best and most consistent offensive player last season. But it now seems that the Braves are looking for some more home runs for the lineup. Last week we heard they were sniffing around Yoenis Cespedis. Now Rosey is reporting that the Braves had been in contact with JUp’s camp until Detroit went nuts and overpaid. According to sources, of course. He says:

    *The Braves talked to Upton’s camp about a reunion as they rebuild and prepare for the opening of their new ballpark in 2017, according to major-league sources.

    No offer was made, but the conversations centered on a six-year contract that would have been for a significantly lower average annual value than Upton received in his six-year, $132.75 million deal with the Tigers, sources said.

    The Braves’ idea was for Upton and Freddie Freeman to form the nucleus of their team through 2021.

    “We did speak with Justin’s representatives but were unable to find something that worked for both sides, and we wish him the best in Detroit,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We remain both opportunistic and disciplined in the trade and free-agent markets.”*

    Stay tuned. Coppy’s looking for more dingers.

    Like

  99. 100 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Oops! Got my HTML strokes confused. Oh well, y’all see what I was trying to do. Imagine the italics in there for:

    The Braves talked to Upton’s camp about a reunion as they rebuild and prepare for the opening of their new ballpark in 2017, according to major-league sources.

    No offer was made, but the conversations centered on a six-year contract that would have been for a significantly lower average annual value than Upton received in his six-year, $132.75 million deal with the Tigers, sources said.

    The Braves’ idea was for Upton and Freddie Freeman to form the nucleus of their team through 2021.

    “We did speak with Justin’s representatives but were unable to find something that worked for both sides, and we wish him the best in Detroit,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “We remain both opportunistic and disciplined in the trade and free-agent markets.”

    Like

  100. 101 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Like

  101. 102 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    A couple of interesting tweets from DOB this afternoon.

    He says first, “If Cespedes doesn’t get long-term deal he seeks, Braves still there ready to move on short-term deal if he wants. Don’t hold your breath.”

    He then says, “Braves are a cleanup hitter from having a legitimately solid lineup, won’t lavish $ in long-term deal to fill that at this point in rebuild.”

    I agree that the team is still lacking in protection for Freddie and an anchor for the middle of the order. They might get that from Hector, but he’s still very much unknown. I’d prefer to bat him lower in the lineup.

    If DOB believes the team is a cleanup hitter away from respectability, and he isn’t always the bringer of optimism, then why wouldn’t the front office push that direction?

    … or will they?

    Like

  102. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    It’s a long time from now to April 1st, at least in baseball trade terms… No telling what the Braves might do at this point. I know they would like to at least field a respectable team but I’m not exactly sure what they believe that to be at this point.

    Lots of teams want to assess their true needs before taking on payroll. Never know who will slip on a loose bat in front of the dugout or come to spring with a suddenly new found swing.

    If the Braves thought $75MM was an albatross of a contract, I think we can all get an idea of how much they are willing to shell out for a hitter. Like I said earlier, over paid or not, the demand is there.

    I say an add for a new GMC Denali for only $43,000, discounted down from $51,000… woo wee, what a bargain….. Still about $40,000 beyond my price range… I am waiting to see what the Braves are going to do with Swisher and Bourne. That’s about $20MM on the table isn’t it?

    Like

  103. 104 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    All along, they have vowed to spend in 2017. That’s been the reason for swapping out longer term contracts (such as Chris Johnson) for short term hits (such as Bourn and Swisher). Those short term hits are gone in 2017. The idea is to be in a position to have a good young base and to make a big FA splash to coincide with the move into SunTrust Park. Sounds like a great plan!

    But…

    Who will be available in 2017? Who are the big ticket FA’s next year?

    There aren’t any!

    That’s the thing… I don’t see any impact hitters at all, and especially at the Braves areas of need. No catchers; no 3B; no OF.

    So what to do? Maybe they need to figure out a way to make it happen a year early. Maybe they need to make a real bonafide run at Cespedes now. I don’t have the answers… that’s for sure. But if you can suck it up for 2016 and make the investment now, you could build some excitement around Freeman/Cespedes and company. And you might even generate some momentum and goodwill with your currently disillusioned fan base.

    Inciarte
    Aybar
    Freeman
    Cespedes
    Garcia
    Olivera
    Pierzynski/Flowers
    Peterson/Beckham

    That’s not awful, folks. Of course, in this scenario, I have traded Markakis. But if I’m deciding between Markakis and Cespedes, I’m taking Cespedes. Easy.

    Like

  104. 105 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    BTW- I just mentioned the oft forgotten Adonis Garcia. Folks, he has absolutely destroyed the pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League. Yeah, I know it’s not ML pitching. But I mean he’s killed it. Power, AVG, OBP… all of it. And he hasn’t looked horrible at 3B either. Could he be the classic late bloomer that’s getting it together at a great time for the Braves? Can’t say for sure… but can’t say “no” either.

    Like

  105. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2016 at 9:04 am

    It is the same league where El Orso Blanco made his mark as a hitter. Could well portend his power potential. Adonis would not be the first player to step out of the shadows of many more highly touted prospects.

    You are correct however when you say timing is often everything. I can’t see much difference in when you go bust. It’s why I still have not fully grasped the trade made for Bourne and Swisher for Johnson. I know, money came back but it is still a head scratcher for me.

    That said, it is a long season, perhaps Swisher will show up in shape and reinvigorated and still have some value. Maybe Bourne will have a nice spring. Maybe I’ll win the lottery…. The odds appear to me similar at this point.

    I expect the Braves will more likely use their talent pool of young pitchers to try to bolster there weak offense.

    Like

  106. 107 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2016 at 9:15 am

    As that glorious counter down below shows, only 30 days until P&CR. Not that I’m counting or anything…

    Like

  107. 108 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I still have not fully grasped the trade made for Bourne and Swisher for Johnson.

    It’s all about the timeline. The total obligation did not change, only the time in which the team is obligated to pay it. With Chris Johnson, they were still paying his salary through 2017 ($9M) plus the $1M buyout in 2018. With Bourn and Swish, the obligation is gone after 2016. Period. Finished.

    So the same money, just accelerated. Clears the books after 2016. And that was the whole point.

    Like

  108. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2016 at 9:48 am

    VOX, it has to be some accounting trick akin to the way money is counted in Washington. You know, like increasing the amount of money spent but claiming they are cutting spending because they didn’t spend as much as someone ask for. Like saying you want a Ferrari but buying a Corvette when you really should just ride the bus…. but, I digress…

    Perhaps it allows for the corporation to write off a loss for tax purposes.

    Like

  109. 110 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Hearing a radio interview with Freddie Freeman. He says he became “100% for all baseball activities” on Dec. 31. Says he’s been taking swings pain-free for the first time in a very long time.

    Like

  110. 111 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Hmmm…. just saw one publication that thinks Hector will open the season in AAA. I find that a little interesting, even if I don’t necessarily think it will happen. But it can happen, so it must be considered. It might also temporarily open up an OF spot if Coppy indeed digs up a power bat. I could see a scenario where they might buy themselves some time that way.

    Like

  111. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    As far as it goes with Hector, they would still have Swisher and Bourne to play in left field until they are fully comfortable with Olivera’s ability to play left field. Or even Mallex Smith but I do not see the Braves bringing him up before June. They will want to keep him under control as long as possible, not make him into a super two.

    So, Freddie is able to swing a bat pain free for the first time in a very long time. Makes me wonder when he really hurt his wrist.

    As much as we want to see the kids come up and do well, read as: we want to believe the hype, Young players benefit from playing everyday and getting those 500 at bats down in the minors more than being used as a 4th or 5th outfielder. “Old” vets like Swisher and Bourne benefit from playing every other day. They can get by with fewer at bats and actually fewer games help their over all production. I think we will see that with Flowers and Perzinski this season.

    I am anxious to see Swanson and Albies compete for the shortstop position this spring. I can envision seeing Swanson moving over to third base but it is really all about offense from that position. What I do know is the best athletes on a team (high school etc.) will be shortstops and pitchers. Where they end up often depends on how well they can handle a bat.

    Like

  112. 113 Vox O'Reason January 21, 2016 at 7:48 am

    The Swanson/Albies combo is the most intriguing pair in the Braves system. Both are projected to be top SS in the ML. But the Braves would leave a gaping hole in the right side of the IF if they chose to play 2 SS, so that means one of them has to move.

    Here’s where we differ a little on what the Braves plans might be. Did y’all know that Swanson played his first 2 years of college ball at 2B? That’s right… he was moved to SS for his Junior season. Now, it must be noted that he made the transition in great form and is a top SS, so he must still be considered there.

    But as much as he looks like he could be the next Brandon Crawford, he could also be the next Chase Utley.

    At any rate, I don’t think he’ll move over to 3B for a couple of reasons. I get the vibe that the team wants to keep Swanson/Albies linked together in the middle of the IF, as the core of the team to come. They will be the Braves version of Rollins/Utley.

    I believe the Braves will address 3B via trade. Rio Ruiz has been mentioned alot here as the next Braves 3B, but he’s at least a year away. I am of the opinion that he could be used in a trade, with a pitcher or 2 as the feature, to bring back an established 3B. Or possibly for a corner OF (Rockies’ Corey DIckerson?), with Hector going back to 3B. Of course, the Cubs still don’t have a position for highly touted IF Javier Baez to play. He’s blocked by youngsters everywhere. He sure would look good as our 3B.

    I guess the whole point of this rambling post is that I believe Swanson/Albies is locked in as our 2B/SS tandem, and that 3B/LF will be addressed via trade to bring in that power bat that Coppy is known to be seeking.

    As for me, I know the Rockies have to move an OF after signing Gerardo Parra this offseason. They already have CarGo, Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon. That’s one too many. CarGo’s contract is to much of an anchor to see him being traded, that means it has to be one of Dickerson or Blackmon. Boy, wouldn’t the LH power bat of Dickerson look nice in our LF?

    The answer to that question is yes.

    Like

  113. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2016 at 10:32 am

    VOX, I only posed the Swanson to third as an option, that he was a second baseman make the transition even easier but the key is his bat. I’m sure his glove is major league ready now, it is always the bat which seems to lag behind other major league skills. Shortstop requires range and a strong arm, second base requires a bit more courage because they are often blindsided (think Yunel Escobar).

    Like I said, shortstop is an athletic position. I am curious as to exactly when it became an offensive position?

    Like

  114. 115 Vox O'Reason January 21, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I love having this guy on my team. He’s one of my favorites for sure. He’ll be so good for a young group.

    Like

  115. 116 Vox O'Reason January 21, 2016 at 11:45 am

    … shortstop is an athletic position. I am curious as to exactly when it became an offensive position?

    First Cal Ripken, Jr., but he seemed more like the exception and not the rule. But the trio of ARod, Jeter and Nomar changed everything. Those guys transformed the position entirely.

    Like

  116. 117 Vox O'Reason January 21, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Like

  117. 118 Carolina Lady January 21, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I was going to say Ripken, as well. If I recall, prior to him, the SS position was filled by those of smaller stature. Ripken is tall. But, just because one team does it, why do all the other teams have to follow suit? Not every player is going to be a Ripken. Monkey see, monkey do.

    Liked by 1 person

  118. 119 Vox O'Reason January 21, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Wish it was ATL, but one thing we know is that the Nats can have the best talent around and still find ways to lose. Evidence: 2014-2015.

    Like

  119. 120 Vox O'Reason January 21, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Well that was brief…

    Like

  120. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Good morning, I hope all you folks south of use came through the storm okay last night. I know CL is going to get a Nor’easter and we are waiting for the snow. We are right on the edge of the snow changing to mix then back to snow. DC will be shut down for a week, think anyone will notice?

    The bad thing about snow and ice for us is the roads are crowned to allow for water to run off. Lots of folks from Jersey and points north will think they can drive in this stuff instead of hunkering down and as my friends in the towing business use to say, it is frozen gold….

    I am happy my fire and EMS days are behind me. I hated it when we had snow and especially freezing rain.

    Now baseball… I am working on a piece about the Braves potential pitching staff, hopefully I can get it done before the lights go out.

    Liked by 1 person

  121. 122 Vox O'Reason January 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Y’all fairing the weather OK up there??

    Like

  122. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2016 at 8:57 am

    We got about 14 inches of the white stuff here in Mechanicsville. Josie is down with a cold so we are just sitting it out until God melts enough for us to get around safely. I expect schools will be closed here locally until Thursday. A lot of winding back roads here in Hanover County and the western part of the county got about 20 inches. Thankfully, the Lord allowed for us to continue to receive power.

    I’m just glad I no longer have to brave the ice and snow. It has been about 6 years since we had a snow of this magnitude. As usual, it is the freezing rain which wreeks the most havoc and we only got a taste of it. Push come to shove, we have a 4 wheel drive but until I can drive a normal pick up truck, I’m staying put.

    I wrote new lead but as yet, CL has not added her magic finishing touches to it. I am hoping she did not lose power down her way. I know she did not get a lot of snow but she did have some high wings. If she has not had a chance to post it by tonight, I will go ahead and post.

    Now football… Pretty exciting game between the Pats and Broncos yesterday, the Panthers and Cards only if you are a Carolina fan.

    Like

  123. 124 Vox O'Reason January 25, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Y’all, since the news cycle is slow at the moment as teams are now mostly in tweaking mode and getting ready for Spring Training (only 25 days until Braves P&CR, not that I’m counting), there is a little tidbit of news that is not getting much attention but that I think is something that will snowball as this season progresses. According to Newsday baseball columnist David Lennon – and who knew Newsday has a baseball columnist? – Commish Rob Manfred said last week that the idea of extending the DH to the National League is “gaining momentum”. That assertion was echoed by Cards’ GM John Mozeliak.

    So this begs the question, why the changing tide?

    I’ll tell you why. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement is up at years end, and there will be negotiations beginning soon to prevent a lapse in agreement which could result in a work stoppage. With all the huge $$ amounts given by the TV networks now propping up all the teams, there has never been a time when the players held all the cards more securely. It’s not unlike the housing market over-inflating on the backs of over-borrowed homeowners who purchased more house than they could afford. Without these ludicrous TV contracts, most of these team owners could not afford the inflated payrolls they currently hold.

    Let me simplify that description: The team owners are overly dependent on the TV revenue, and as a result are overly dependent on the product, which makes them overly dependent on the players themselves.

    So the players have the leverage, and you know that they will use it to their advantage. So what is the one singular bargaining chip that the owners can still play? Yep… the NL DH.

    The MLBPA loves the DH because it allows older players the opportunity to hang around a little longer and make more of the big money instead of the younger players earning the same roster spot at league minimum.

    Don’t be surprised if there isn’t some sticking point in negotiations that the MLBPA seems to want to dig in on, only to have the owners float out the possibility of extending the DH to the Senior Circuit to “grease the skids”. It almost seems inevitable.

    Like

  124. 125 Vox O'Reason January 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Personally, I hate the DH. And for all those who parrot the “who wants to see pitchers hit” argument, I say why not take that logic out to the last degree. Why not just field an offensive team and a defensive team to insure that you have the best of each without regard to being able to do both. I can think of an awful lot of infielders that were magicians with a glove but couldn’t find a hit on iTunes. Why not just field the best 8 fielders/pitcher you can without regard to offense, and then trot out the best 1-9 hitters you can find whether they can catch a cold or not. To me it’s the same logic.

    Liked by 1 person

  125. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2016 at 11:47 am

    VOX, I agree on the DH point but I fear it is inevitable. Why, because for the most part, pitchers no longer hit in the minor leagues. They have been building to this point for years, MLB is going for the young viewer, the same people they can convince to spend $2500 on a set of wheels that is only worth $500… No different than the offering on television. the people who believe shows like Survivor and Big Brother aren’t scripted… The same group of people who believe Donald Trump is a conservative…. For sure, he is a snake oil salesman who would put P.T. Barnum to shame… but, I digress…

    If it really was a union in the real sense, there would be a salary cap. It is a union in the looses sense of the word. Of course, I have no sympathy for the owners either.

    Liked by 1 person

  126. 127 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    NEW BLOG UP…

    Liked by 1 person


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Blog Birthdays

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